Last modified on 17 May 2014, at 07:08

How to use a Motorola DVR/Setup

How to use a Motorola DVR
Identify | Connections | Setup | i-Guide | MSTV | Passport | Tivo | FireWire | Remote | Firmware/Software | Configuration | Bugs | Boot Errors | VOD Errors | Resets | Help

Setting video display optionsEdit

The DVR has several options to configure the video output format for your TV or display. This includes HD modes, SD mode, screen format (4:3 or 16:9), and closed captioning. Some newer models with the latest firmware also have options to fine tune DVI or HDMI settings.

Accessing the user settings menuEdit

To access the video options, you need to go to USER SETTINGS

  1. Turn the DVR off.
  2. Press the Menu button on the remote or the front of the DVR.

Accessing the user settings menu: Verizon FiOS TV with IMG v2.0Edit

Subscribers to Verizon's FiOS TV that have the IMG v2.0 have a slightly different method to enter USER SETTINGS. Perform the following steps quickly (pauses between button presses may prevent the menu from appearing):

  1. Press the power button to turn the DVR off. Be prepared to quickly press the next 2 buttons.
  2. Immediately press and release the OK button on the remote (or the Select button on the front of the DVR)
  3. Immediately press and release the Menu button on the remote or the front of the DVR.
  4. If your current aspect ratio does not display (16:9, 4:3L, or 4:3P) you may have waited too long between button presses. Turn the DVR on and try again.

Alternately, FiOS TV subscribers with IMG 2.0 may access the user settings menu during the DVR's boot sequence. Note that with this approach, the menu will go away when the DVR finishes booting (in a minute or two):

  1. Unplug the DVR for 30+ seconds.
  2. Plug in the DVR
  3. Press the Menu button on the front of the DVR when --:-- shows on the front of the DVR.
  4. If your current aspect ratio does not display (16:9, 4:3L, or 4:3P) you may not have had the DVR powered off long enough. Repeat the steps above but leave the DVR unplugged longer.

Navigating in the user settings menuEdit

While in the menu, the up or down arrows move between options. The left and right arrows will change the selected option.

To exit, press the Power key on the remote or the front of the DVR.

If you are unable to see the video on your display, most of the options will also display on the front panel of the DVR.

If you tune into a SD channel before turning off the DVR, the user settings menu will display in standard 480i

TV TypeEdit

TV TYPE is where you specify the screen format. This only appears to affect how HD material is displayed when downconverted to 480i (SD) or 480p (ED).

The options are:

TV display LED Display Description
16:9 16:9 For most widescreen displays. HD will be displayed in its native format.
4:3 Letterbox 4:3L For 4:3 displays. HD will be downconverted with letterboxing.
4:3 Pan Scan 4:3P For 4:3 displays. HD will be downconverted with the sides cut off.

HDMI/YPbPr OutputEdit

HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT sets the HD format used by the component, DVI, or HDMI outputs. The RF, composite, and S-Video outputs will ALWAYS be 480i.

The DVR can only output one HD format. For example, if you set it to 1080i, all HD will be output as 1080i. Any source that is 720p or 480p will be converted to 1080i. This is only done when on playback or viewing live video. Recordings are ALWAYS saved in their native format.

WARNING: If HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT is set to anything other than 480i, and you are watching HD material, you will NOT be able to see the on-screen menus on the RF, composite, or S-Video outputs.

WARNING: As you scroll through the options, the output will change to that format. If you are using the RF, composite, or S-Video output, the video may go blank until you go back to 480i.

The options are:

TV display LED Display Description
Ypp/OUt Alternates Ypp and OUt to show you are on that setting
1080p at 60 frames per second (for 1080p60), 1080p at 30 frames per second (1080p30) or 1080p at 24 frames per second (for 1080p24) 1080p60 (only available on the dcx3501/3510) or 1080p30 or 1080p24 Maximum HD resolution of 1080p

NOTE: This option is available only on DCX models with an HDMI cable hookup, but the DCX3501(Comcast Calls the Box the RNG200N)/DCX3510 can upscale all HiDef signals to 1080p60. The rest of the DCX Models can when selected to this resolution will display content at 1080p30 or 1080p24 when content is broadcast at 1080p. The only channels and programs Comcast broadcasts at 1080p are: 3D channels, 3D programs on VOD(Video On Demand), and some PPV events/specials.

1080I 1080/80 i Alternates 1080 and 80 i. Maximum HD resolution of 1080i
720P 720P HiDef HD resolution of 720p
480P 480P Low ED resolution of 480p
480I 480I Standard SD resolution of 480i
Native Native Passes through the native resolution of the current channel to the TV set (this could be 1080p, 1080i, 720p, or 480i).

NOTE: This option is available only on DCX models.

Which HDMI/YPbPr Output Setting Should I Use?Edit

If your display is not HD capable, then set HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT to 480i. This will guarantee you can always see the menus. Set the TV Type selection to match your display aspect ratio and letterboxing preferences when viewing HD material (which will be downconverted for your TV).

If your display is HD capable, there is no hard and fast rule. You need to check the owners manual, or information on the back panel of the TV to find out what resolutions it accepts.

If it's an EDTV, then a setting of 480P will probably work best.

If it's CRT-based (direct-view or projection), then 1080i may be the best option, as most display 1080i natively.

If it's a fixed resolution panel such as Plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, SXRD or similar, it depends on its vertical resolution. That is typically the second number listed: 1920 x 1080 would have a vertical resolution of 1080 lines. If that number matches one of the HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT options, try that first. If it's an oddball number like 768 or 786 or 1024, then it's a matter of trial-and-error to find which format you like and that works best with your display.

4:3 OVERRIDEEdit

4:3 OVERRIDE tells the DVR how to output SD programming. This option is disabled if HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT is set to 480i.

The options are:

TV display LED Display Description
OFF OFF SD is converted to the HDMI/YPbPR OUTPUT format with pillar boxes on the sides
480I 480I SD is not converted (recommended)
480P 480P SD is converted to 480p
STRETCH Strh SD is converted to the HDMI/YPbPR OUTPUT format and stretched horizontally for a 16:9 screen

You should try the 480I (no conversion) setting first. Most newer displays do a better job handling SD upconversion than the Motorola. Also, most widescreen displays offer more "zoom" options in 480I for material that is already letterboxed, to fill the widescreen. If you choose one of the other settings for 4:3 OVERRIDE, these "zoom" setting may not be available.

NOTE: On DCX models when "Native" mode is chosen under HDMI/YPbPR OUTPUT, the 4:3 OVERRIDE setting is greyed out and has no effect.

Additional HDMI SettingsEdit

The 641x-PIII and 341x include an HDMI output instead of a DVI output. As of Firmware 16.20, a new option, "ADDITIONAL HDMI SETTINGS >>>" was added to the menu. Highlighting it and pressing OK/Select will switch to a second screen.

You can arrow down to each option and press the OK/Select to change it.

The options are:

Setting Selection LED Display Description
HDMI/DVI MODE: DVI duI You can use this option if you are using an HDMI/DVI converter cable or adapter to connect to a DVI port on your TV. Note that you may notice some stutter in the video with this setting. Try the HDMI mode, even if you are connecting to a DVI port. You can also try switching between modes temporarily, to solve stutter/jitter problems or HDCP errors. If you lose the video output because of HDCP errors, use the LED display to navigate switching back the output mode.
HDMI/DVI MODE: HDMI hdmI Use this option if you are connecting to an HDMI port on your TV, or if you notice some video stutter when connecting to a DVI port on your TV. You an also try switching between modes temporarily, to solve stutter/jitter problems or HDCP errors. If you lose the video output because of HDCP errors, use the LED display to navigate switching back the output mode.
COLOR SPACE: RGB rgb Use this setting if your TV uses RGB color decoding. The color will be obviously wrong if your TV does not. The conversion from MPEG2 colorspace (YCbCr) to RGB is performed in the DVR.
COLOR SPACE: YCC 4:4:4 yCC Use this setting if your TV uses YCbCr color decoding (YCbCr is abbreviated "YCC"). The color will be obviously wrong if your TV does not. YCbCr is the native colorspace of MPEG2. The conversion from YCbCr to RGB will occur in your TV.
AUDIO OUTPUT: AUTO AUdI This is the preferred setting. Use this setting under normal conditions to receive Dolby Digital when available and supported by your A/V equipment, or L-PCM when Dolby Digital is unavailable or unsupported by your A/V equipment.
AUDIO OUTPUT: L-PCM AUdI Use this setting if your TV does not decode Dolby Digital. This will convert all incoming Dolby Digital audio to Linear PCM. PCM is normal stereo audio, similar to what is contained on an audio CD, so you will lose any surround sound.
AUDIO OUTPUT: PASS THROUGH AUdI Use this setting if you want the native format of the incoming signal to be passed on unchanged. This will normally be Dolby Digital for digital channels, or L-PCM for analog channels. Note that this may corrupt an HDMI->DVI conversion.

This is a draft in-progress for updates to the Motorola DVR page.

Closed CaptionEdit

The way that closed captioning works depends on the type of cable used to connect the DVR to your TV.

Closed Caption: Coaxial, S-Video, or RCA videoEdit

Use your TV's built-in closed caption decoding to display closed captions when you connect the DVR to the TV with any of the following:

  • Coaxial RF OUT: The typical screw-on cable connector.
  • Composite video: The yellow RCA jack.
  • S-Video

Your TV may have a closed caption button on the remote (often labeled "CC"), or else you may need to use your TV's on-screen menu system to enable decoding of closed captions.

Closed Caption: HDMI, Component, etcEdit

You must use the USER SETTINGS menu on the DVR if you connect with any other cable type, including HDMI and component (YPbPr). You can not use your TV's closed caption features because these other connections can not carry the closed caption signal. Instead, you must tell the DVR to decode closed captions, and then overlay them on the video sent to the TV.

Unfortunately, it is very inconvenient to switch between displaying and hiding closed captions. You must use the USER SETTINGS menu which requires you to power-off your DVR. After accessing the menu (see above), move down to the CLOSED CAPTION entry then change DISABLED to ENABLED. When you power on the DVR again the next time, captions will always be displayed.

There are some other caption settings when ENABLED which are mostly self explanatory. For ANALOG, CC1 is the standard closed captioning channel. CC2, or CC3 is often used for Spanish captioning.

For more details on the limitations of HDMI and component connections, see the HDTV interoperability issues section of the Wikipedia page on closed captions.

Subtitle SettingsEdit

As of Firmware 16.20, the user menu has a SUBTITLE SETTINGS >>> option at the top of the display. Highlighting it and pressing OK/select will switch to a second screen.

The second screen offers options for STATUS (ON or OFF), and LANGUAGE (ENG [English], FRE [French], SPA [Spanish], and POR [Portuguese].)

To exit the screen, highlight the RETURN TO MAIN MENU >>> option at the bottom.

It's unknown what the subtitle settings are used for.

Restore All DefaultsEdit

RESTORE ALL DEFAULTS will reset all options to common defaults.

This will typically be:

Setting Selection
TV TYPE 16:9
HDMI/YPbPr 1080I
4:3 OVERRIDE 480I
CLOSED CAPTION DISABLED